The German National Team—Polska Edition
Could Germany field a national team which is exclusively made up of Polish-born players?
Yes, argues Daniel Kaiser and gives an outlook for a possible 2010 team where even the coaching staff and bus driver are of Polish origin.
He left out German players who have a Polish background but who were not born in Poland.
Discuss: Do you think this team has enough quality to qualify for a European or World Championship?
Goalkeeper: Raphael Schäfer
born as Rafal Szafarczyk
place of birth: Kędzierzyn-Koźle, Poland
birth date: 30 January 1979
current club: FC Nuremberg
Won the German cup in 2007
In 2006/07 Raphael Schäfer had the season of his life winning the German cup and lifting Nuremberg to a 6th place in the Bundesliga table. His coach publicly stated that Raphael Schäfer should get a chance to play in the national team.
The next season he replaced Hildebrand at VFB Stuttgart and had a terrible start which saw him degraded to a bench warmer. Now he is back at Nuremberg and seems to be back on track with good performances for the Franconians.
Center Back: Lukas Sinkiewicz
born as Łukasz Sienkiewicz
place of birth: Tychy, Poland
birth date: 9 October 1985
current club: Bayer 04 Leverkusen
caps for Germany: Three
"Lukas II" as he was called by the Cologne tabloids has a lot in common with his friend Lukas "I" Podolski. Both came to Germany at the age of five. Their parents settled in Bergheim where they started to play at the local club before both of them were discovered by former Cologne coach Marcel Koller and had their first Bundesliga matches in 2003/04.
His father was a former Polish football player who died at the age of 38.
When he was 19 years-old his mobile rang and depicted an American phone number. Jürgen Klinsmann inivted him to play for the German national team.
Due to some serious knee injuries, Sinkiewicz couldn`t defend his spot in the German national team. However, the German national team is in desperate need of good center backs and if he manages to get back to his old form, he might sooner or later get another chance to play for the Eagles.
Center Back: Thomas Cichon
born as Tomasz Cichon
place of birth: Ruda Śląska, Poland
birth date: 9 January 1976
current club: VFL Osnabrück
20 caps for the German U-21
Thomas Cichon played 212 matches for FC Cologne before moving to VFL Osnabrück. There he has established himself as the corner stone in the Bundesliga Two team`s defense.
Left Back: Sebastian Boenisch
place of birth: Gliwice, Poland
birth date: 1 February 1987
current club: SV Werder Bremen
10 caps for the German U-21
Sebastian Boenisch started his professional career at Schalke 04 before being moving to Werder Bremen in 2007.
He was invited to join the Polish U-19 in February 2006 but opted to play for Germany instead. Shortly before his 21st birthday he was undecided and thought about playing for the Polish national team. But in the end he opted for Germany again.
He has shown some weaknesses in defending so far, but if he improves and impresses at Werder Bremen, he has a good chance to get a spot in the German national team in the near future.
Video (in German) in which he explains why he opted for Germany over Poland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBxZf_oGLSw
Right Back: Paul Thomik
place of birth: Zabrze, Poland
birth date: 25 January 1985
current club: VFL Osnabrück
11 caps for the German U-20
Paul Thomik won the U-19 German championship playing for Bayern Munich`s youth team. He then moved to VFL Osnabrück via a spell at Unterhaching and has established himself as one of the strongest right wingers in the second Bundesliga.
Defensive Midfield: Eugen Polanski
place of birth: Sosnowiec, Poland
birth date: 17 March 1986
current club: CF Getafe
19 caps for the German U-21
A few years ago, Polanski was hailed as one of Germany`s most promising young players. But his performances at Gladbach lacked consistency and he found himself on the bench last year. So he decided to move to CF Getafe in the Primera Division, where he showed some strong performances against giants like Barca and Real Madrid.
If his form continues he will soon find himself in the German national team as a potential replacement of Thorsten Frings.
He came to Germany as a three year-old and obtained German citizenship a few months later. Unlike Lukas Podolski he has little connection to Poland and states on his website that he has still some relatives in Sosnowiec, the Polish town where he was born, but hasn`t been there for a decade.
Right Winger: Bernd Schneider
35 year old Bernd Schneider is commonly regarded as the most technically gifted German player of his generation. He was born on 17 december 1973 in the East German town of Jena.
However, a Polish journalist of "Twoja Gazeta" has recently claimed that Bernd Schneider wasn`t born in Jena but in the Polish province of Silesia as Arkadiusz Skrzypiciel.
Asked whether this rumour was true, Schneider said: "I have also heard about that allegation. But I was definately born in Jena."
Actually, I don`t hold this rumour to be true either. But the story needed to be told and that`s why I included legendary Arkadiusz Skrzypiciel in my team.
Left Winger: Paul Freier
born as Sławomir Paweł Freier
place of birth: Bytom, Poland
birth date: 26 July 1979
current club: VFL Bochum
19 caps for the German national team
Paul`s father Eugen Freier was a football player at Polonia Bytom. But an injury in a match against German side VFL Bochum ended his career in 1976. Ironically, it was at VFL Bochum where his son managed to gain national attention after a great debut season in 1999. In 2002 he got selected for the German national team. His last match for German was in February 2005 against Argentina.
Attacking Midfield: Piotr Trochowski
place of birth: Tczew, Poland
birth date: 22 March 1984
current club: Hamburger SV
18 caps for Germany (one goal)
Piotr Trochowski is different from the other Polish-born players in my selection, since he was not born in the Polish province of Silesia but in a small town near Gdansk. His family moved to Hamburg when he was five years old.
When he was 14 the highly talented midfielder got an invitation for the German U-15.
His parents, however, wanted to see him represent Poland and tried to persuade Polish football authorities of their son`s qualities. His mother didn`t know the adress of the Polish FA and hence published—without the knowledge of her son—an advert in a Polish sports magazine praising her son`s technical skills and asked the Polish FA to invite him to its youth programme.
She didn`t get a response and a few years later Trochowski was one of three Polish-born players who helped Germany defeat the country they were born in at the European Championship.
This season Piotr Trochowski has established himself as one of Hamburg`s best players and has become a regular in the German national team.
Forward: Miroslav Klose
born as Mirosław Marian Kloze
place of birth: Opole, Poland
birth date: 9 June 1978
current club: FC Bayern Munich
87 caps for Germany (44 goals)
Not much needs to be said of Miroslav Klose—one of Germany`s all-time leading goalscorers. Miroslav Klose is married to Polish-born Sylwia (she came to Germany as a two year-old) and their children are raised bilingually.
When a member of the Polish Parliament said that the German national team would only be half as good without their "two Poles," Miroslav`s father Josef gave a furious response in the Polish tabloid "Fakt" stating that he doesn`t want to be considered Polish but Silesian or European.
"Everything my son has achieved so far can be credited to the German clubs and my own efforts."
Forward: Lukas Podolski
born as Łukasz Podolski
place of birth: Gliwice, Poland
birth date: 4 June 1985
current club: FC Bayern Munich
60 caps for Germany (31 goals)
Podolski is one of Germany`s most dangerous attackers. He scored 30 goals for the German national team at the tender age of 23. Only Pelé, Sven Rydell, Ronaldo, Sándor Kocsis, Stern John, and Ferenc Puskás had scored more goals on the international stage at that age.
Lukas Podolski has very strong connections to Poland. He speaks Polish at home, his girlfriend is Polish, he listens to Polish hip hop and is a fan of Polish ski jumper Adam Malysz. He often visits his grandmother in Gliwice and refused to celebrate the goals he scored against Poland.
And yet he also stated that as far as football is concerned Germany is his home country and that his mentality is German: "For me it was always clear that I would play for Germany."
Head Coach: Dariusz Wosz
place of birth: Piekary Śląskie, Poland
birth date: 8 June 1969
current occupation: youth coach at VFL Bochum
Caps for East Germany: Seven / caps for Germany: 17
Dariusz Wosz is a Bundesliga legend. He played 324 matches in the German top flight scoring 38 goals and leading Bochum to a fifth place in 1995/96.
Assistant Coach: Martin Max
place of birth: Tarnowskie Góry, Poland
birth date: 7 August 1968
current occupation: head coach of amateur club TSV Grafing
Martin Max was a late bloomer. He was an average striker for most of his career but after his 30th birthday he became the most dangerous attacker in the Bundesliga (396 matches, 126 goals, Bundesliga top scorer in 2000 and 2003). He only played one match for Germany: eight minutes in a friendly against Argentina in 2002.
Fitness coach: Dariusz Michalczewski
Former light heavyweight boxer Dariusz Michalczewski became a German citizen in 1991three years after he defected from the Polish boxing national team in order to stay in Germany.
Nicknamed "Tiger" for his agressive boxing style, Dariusz Michalczewski will take care of the players` fitness and wants to focus on what the Germans call "Zweikampf."
Fitness and rehab coach: Vivian Schmitt
real name: Vivian Schmitt
place of birth: Bydgoszcz, Poland
birth date: 31 March 1978
current occupation: adult movie star
Podolski was voted "Best Newcomer" at the World Cup 2006 in Germany. Vivian Schmitt got the same award two years earlier at the annual Venus fair for adult entertainment in Berlin.
The 30-year-old’s strengths lie in therapeutic treatment. Her duties at the German national team will include not only rehab work but also preventing injuries to players. Schmitt has already worked with numerous top athletes.
Press Secretary: Magdalena von Podolski
real name: Magdalena Kowalczyk
birth date: 7 November 1979
current occupation: comedian, actress
Best press secretary ever: Magda speaks German, Polish, Russian, Berlin dialect and German with a fake Polish accent. And she is better looking than the current Press Secretary Harald Stenger...
Mental Coach: Ewa Wisnierska
birth place: Nysa, Poland
birth date: 23 December 1971
current profession: paraglider
Ewa represents the German paragliding team but still has a Polish passport. She regards herself as European and doesn`t believe in God. Nevertheless she survived being sucked into a storm that pulled her higher than Mount Everest which doesn`t come short of a miracle.
Read the breathtaking story of her survival: http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/dead-luck-ewas-flight-of-fury/2007/02/16/1171405421626.html?page=fullpage#contentSwap3
Honestly, if you have survived something like this, you surely are in a good position to convince football players that there is no reason of being afraid of penalty kicks.
Bus Driver: Natalia Avelon
real name:Natalia Siwek
place of birth: Wroclaw, Poland
birth date: 29 March 1980
current profession: actress
Natalia Avelon starred in the German movie "Das wilde Leben" (english title: 8 Miles High). In one part of this flick she travels the world in a VW bus.
American trailer of "Miles High": http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=WNSMHBjYP_8
She also duetted with HIM singer Ville Valo for a cover of Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood's song "Summer Wine" as a part of the Das Wilde Leben soundtrack: http://de.youtube.com/watch?v=EOs2TSXTOkQ&feature=related